tv BBC World News PBS June 30, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
>> and now bbc world news. >> welcome to news day on the bbc. in london. >> in singapore. the headlines. a day of sl braggs for young and -- celebration for young and old as china celebrates 90 years of the communist party. and u.n. investigators issue a sealed indictment over the murder of rafik hariri. the lebanese media says it implicates hezbollah. >> a french hostage released by the taliban tells the bbc he believes the deal was done to secure his freedom. and canada welcomes william and kate on their first official trip abroad. it's 2:00 a.m. here in london. >> it is 9:00 a.m. here in singapore. broadcasting to viewers on pbs in america and around the world. this is newsday.
>> the chinese communist party is celebrating its 90th anniversary. the world's largest political party with a membership of more than 18 million. and it's managed to stay in power elsewhere have been pushed aside. our correspondent, michael bristow, traveled to the city of yen-on in northern china. the communist base during the civil war more than 60 years ago and considered by many as a birthplace of china's communist revolution. >> the communists like to celebrate their victory. they do it twice a day. there's courage in sacrifice but most of it on one side. they see a partial version of history with a clear message. mao tse-tung's party saved the
country. this propaganda is fed to the young, they love the party even before they're old enough to understand why. where here to remember the party's great achievement. those achievements aren't hard to find. ness a remote place, a long way from the booming coastal cities that are driving china's economy. but even here, there's wealth. the party, process tarot along this valley and far -- prosperity along this valley and far beyond. the success draws people from across china to here in yen-on and see how it all got started. it's a pilgrimage to the chinese revolution's holy land. this is the most sacred spot. colleagues lived here in caves carved out of the mountainside.
the idealism of though days is now gone. capitalism is largely replaced communism. but the party's still in power. it's managed to do that by keeping tight control. party members have to sit through study sessions where they are given the latest instructions. under mao's leadership, tens of millions died but here they're learning about his political skill. >> why do we still study mao tse-tung? because if the chinese communist party is to rule, it has to have legitimacy. we need people's approval and support. mah had that. -- mao had that. >> it might want approval but the party is not going to told lerkses to get -- hold elections to get it, in fact a crackdown on dissent. all this, though, is swept
under the carpet in yen-on. new members pledge their allegiance to the party. old ones renew their vows. and at the moment, economic success trumps political repression. that means the party still is strong and is popular as it's ever been. >> we will have live coverage of the celebrations in the coming hours right here on bbc news. a united nations tribunal investigating the murder of the former lebanese prime minister, rafik hariri, in 2005, has delivered a sealed indictment of the lebanese authorities. the suspects have not been named. but lebanese officials say several of them are members of the shia organization, hezbollah. including one senior commander. owen bennett jones reports from beirut. >> investigators and lawyers working behind these walls believe they know who killed ravi rafik hariri.
they handed over four names to the lebanese authorities. the names are secret but the process is not. lebanon is now meant to arrest and detain the suspects. the new lebanese prime minister has said he'll deal with the tribunal's accusations in a responsible way. >> today we are confronting a new reality. and call upon all of us to consciously and purposely unite, setting as a priority the greater good of the nation, our own safety and a determination to know the truth, despite everything. so we can deal with the situation realistically and responsibly. keeping in mind that indictments, regardless of their source, are not conclusive. and any accusations need solid evidence that cannot be doubted. that every individual accused is innocent until proven guilty. >> but the prime minister faces conflicting pressures. the big western powers want him to respect the tribunal.
but hezbollah is a powerful force within his government. and it believes its members now face arrest and it wants the prile minister to reject the -- the prime minister to reject the whole legal process out of hand. this is the hezbollah leader speaking last year. >> mistake to think we were allowed arrest or detention of any of our fighters. any hand that will touch any of them will really be cut off. >> the truck bomb that killed rafik hariri triggered real change in lebanon. it led to mass protests that forced the departure of syrian troops from the country. but as the years have passed, the desire for justice has for some given way to fears that the search for the killers could lead to violent instability in the country. many lebanese do support the tribunal. they want to know who killed ravi -- rafik hariri but others are spirks.
they say the tribunal is a tool being used by the western israel to hit out at their political enemies. owen bennett jones, bbc news, beirut. >> french journalist held captive in afghanistan have been talking about the release. >> one of two of the hostages released on wednesday by the taliban has told the bbc he believes a deal was done to secure their freedom. he suggested that at least two afghan prisoners are freed. the taliban said earlier that several of their members had been released from jail. back on french soil at last, the two journalists arrived at a military air force on thursday morning after their 547-day ordeal as prisoners of the taliban in afghanistan. the two men said the conditions they were subjected to were grim. but insist they were never abused. >> we haven't been mistreated, beaten or attacked. but we were locked up for 23 hours and 45 minutes out of 24
hours. we could go to the toilets twice a day, once at dawn and once in the evening. >> the three employees and their interpret wrr taken hostage by armed militants on december 30, 2009. at the time, they were filming in northeast afghanistan. on november, 2010, a video message of the men was released. since then, nothing. the two journalists under interpreter were set free on wednesday. so they had no idea they were about to be sent home. >> we were in a house that -- and moved us to another one and told us the negotiations were over. two days ago, we did a long walk to the main valley. we started to have a good feeling. when we really knew that we were being released was when they gave us our white clothes and when they put us in the car toward the base. >> france, three colleagues gave the two journalists a hero's welcome. but questions are being asked
about the circumstances surrounding their release. there are rumors that money changed hands. but there's no proof of that. and the french foreign minister is adamant that france does not pay ransom. >> united nations secretary general ban ki-moon has called for a peaceful election. mr. ban has urged all parties to refrain from violence before, during and after the polls. the ruling democrat party led by prime minister is locked in a tough battle with the main hop sigs party -- the main opposition party. who was ousted in a coup in 2006. joining me from bangkok is our correspondent, rachel harvey. and rachel, there are fears that this polling day could be marched by violence. -- marred by violence. what's the mood like on the ground? >> well, i think to be honest, most people think the polling day itself will probably pass off fairly peacefully. there have been a few instances
of violence during the campaign. normally at a local level. polling day itself, most people here think will be orderly, will be peaceful, and people will turn out in large numbers to cast their ballots. the real question mark is what happens after that. firstly, will one part be able to get enough seats to form an absolute majority and then by right to form the government? or will it be a case of one party wins the most seats but not enough to be an absolute majority and therefore we're going to see a period of horse trading while they try to get other small parties to join them in a coalition? it is in that period when effectively we have a lame duck government period. and while this is horse trading going on, that some people think they could be the potential for some wrongdoing in the background, for pressure to be brought behind closed doors, everybody who is involved in this process in terms of the political parties, in terms of the election commission, in terms of the observers and crucially the military are saying that this should be an expression of the
will of the people. and that they will respect the outcome. but the real test will be, of course, once the people's will has been expressed through the ballot box, that will be the key test. >> and about the contenders, rachel, they are the prime minister's party and the party led by the sister of the former leader shinawat. is there a clear favorite at the moment? >> well, the last poll that we were able to see suggested that was pulling ahead. but there are no polls allowed to be made public in the final week of campaigning. so it's very difficult to get a clear sense. now, as you might expect, both the main parties are claiming that they have got the momentum going into these final few days. democrats say that they are turning things around and getting their message across to people. and others saying they are getting bigger and bigger crowds at campaign rallies and have the wind in their sails. it's impossible to tell until we get to sunday exactly which
way that this is going to go. but the momentum does appear to have been with porti. it's a question of whether they can keep that going into election day, how many seats they can pick up. privately, the democrats have recently been saying that they think it will be difficult for them to come out on top. but not impossible. everything depends on the final few days and what the undecided voters may choose to do. and really, it will be the capital city, bangkok, that probably decides the outcome of this election. >> going to be an interesting few days. thank you very much for that. rachel harvey there for us in bangkok. >> and you're watching news day on the bbc live from singapore and in london. still to come on the program, welcomed with open arms, william and kate go down, a storm in canada. >> and monaco celebrates the other royal wedding of the day as prince william ii marries a former olympic swimmer. the greek government has got a
second austerity bill through congress freeing up funds from the european union and the i.m.f. and saving the country from defaulting on its massive debt. many greeks are already angry at the current austerity measures as we report from athens. >> the final vote that fesm saved greece from default -- effectively saved greece from default was passed by a majority of 155 members of parliament said yes. there was a resounding silence from the streets. the demonstrators who caused such mayhem on wednesday knew that this was little more than a rubber stamping. and stayed away from constitution square. this procedural vote now means that greece has done as it was told by the european union and international monetary fund. in return, it will receive $17 billion in mid july, and will be able to pay its bills. what the new law authorizes is this -- greece will sell off $72 billion of state assets over the next four years.
it will cut government spending by $40 billion over the next five years. 150,000 public sector jobs will be cut by 2015. more people will be forced to pay income tax, and in a could bring in an extra $3.3 billion alone. saving greece from defaulting may have cheered politicians in euro zone capitals, but it has depressed many athansians. >> it will only make the situation worse. greater recession, greater poverty. >> things will only get uglier and worse than they already are. there's no future. there is nothing. >> with two yes votes now in his pocket, the finance minister can look forward to meeting his euro group partners this weekend. to show what he calls real proof of greece's credibility. bbc news, athens.
>> this is news day on the bbc. in london. >> in singapore. a day of celebrations as the kye niece communist party marked its -- chinese communist party marked its 90th anniversary. >> the murder of rafik hariri, an indictment that implicates the hezbollah. >> more now on the anniversary of china's governing party. after nine decades, it goes from strength to strenlt. -- to strength. and arguably one of the most powerful political organizationers on the planet. joining us from sydney is a professor of chinese political economy at the university of sydney. thank you so much for joining us. how have the party evolved over the past nine decades? >> well, the party has a long history. and it has started off as a
peasant revolutionary army and has moved to become a socialist party in the soviet style linked to a planned economy. and in the last decade or two, it has moved away from an ideological oriented party to a party which is deeply embedded in the largest privatization in history. >> so what challenges, professor, does the communist party face right now on the political and economic fronts? >> let's talk about the economic front first. because that is really the crucial point. the communist party has moved to praoistize the economy of china's -- privatize the economy of china's major provinces and we have to keep in mind these provinces are as big if not bigger as our average countries. they have done that not by setting up policies from a central perspective and the
legal system like it happened in the soviet union when it converted to a capitalist economy. but the party has done that by plol party cadres and secretaries becoming personally involved in enterprise restructuring. and that means that the parties embedded in the economy to a degree, that we have not seen before, neither in china nor anywhere else. >> so given the current -- -- current factors and environment, how important is the communist party to china today and how relevant is it to our modern world? >> well, the chinese communist party is crucially relevant for china because it is the only body that really holds china together. and if it was not a communist party, there would be another party that will have to fulfill exactly the same role. because china does not operate by law. it operates by this organizational structure. holding the country together.
and that is 30 provinces as big as countries. the come nist party's important for the -- communist party's important for the current world situation in the sense that china is a major global power. whatever china does has an impact on any major country from the united states to australia. >> from the university of sydney, thank you, sir, for joining us. and a day of mass plow tests in the u.k. -- of mass protests in the u.k. over pensions and pay. >> hundreds of thousands of public workers here in the u.k. were on strike for proposed cuts to their pensions. the unions say half a million people stopped work. schools, gration and other government -- immigration and other government agencies were affected. >> strike day. the one in a saves their pensions or the first in a bitter battle with the government. -- the one that saves their pensions or the first in a bitter battle with the government.
for most, it was about their own retirement. they say they shouldn't pay more to pay for bankers' mistakes. ministers say their pensions are simply unaffordable. here they come. public sector workers on the march. the question, though, is whether they have the public with them or whoever is living in downing street does. it was school where the man impact was felt. -- the main impact was felt. many teachers did not go in. this is just one of around 12,000 schools which were either fully pour partially closed -- fully or partially closed. one parent did play teacher for the day. just one problem. he was the education secretary. the strikers' case is that proposed pension changes will cost the average teacher 74 pounds a month. make them work longer to 66, and give them a smaller pension. the government replies that that ignores a series of important pledges they've made.
that existing pension parts will be protected, that workers earning under $15,000 a year will pay no more and that all will keep guaranteed pension payouts unlike most in the private sector. it was not just teachers striking today. the public servants union said it was their biggesten ever strike but ministers said many ignored the picket lines outside government offices. like this one in new castle. or this job center in brighton. or at airports. which claim the few passengers. have been disrupted. the police were out in force today. blocking protesters from going off the agreed route and using stop and search powers to avoid trouble. so far at least. they've succeeded. the political trouble over pensions, though, may only just have begun. this is the visible side of this dispute. what really counts is what's happening away from the cameras. negotiations about exactly what the unions will accept and what
ministers insist the country can afford. nick robinson, bbc news, westminster. >> gathering to greet the duke and duchess of cambridge. their first official overseas trip as a married couple. following the visits and this report. >> increasingly, the load will be theirs. and this is the first chance they've had together to discover what that means on a complex foreign tour. william and katherine have come to canada, not simply as a visiting british prince and his british wife, but as a couple who one day will be king and queen of this country, too. the first duty, watched by tens of thousands of canadians, was to pay their respects to canada's war dead at the national war memorial in ottawa. william laid a wreath and katherine flowers at the grave of the unknown soldier.
and then what the waiting crowds have been waiting for. a chance to greet the visitors personally. william taking one side of the crowd, and katherine the other. taking time to stop and talk, accepting flowers, and ignoring the timetable. the event was already overrun. it's impossible to say to what stenlt all of this -- to what extent all of this curiosity and excitement about the visit translates into solid support for the notion that one day, they should be canada's king and queen. among the crowds who turned out to see them, there was widespread support for the monarchy. >> doesn't matter if they've never come to canada before. they're here now. >> i would like to see them as my king and queen. >> a great thing for tourism. for getting everybody together. >> a few streets away, others were ignoring a visit which has left some canadians underwhelmed. >> at the moment, in the world, they are the world's prettiest new supercouple.
and we get to be the first place to host them on their first trip abroad. but that doesn't mean to say that it's the same thing as supporting the monarchy. >> at the home of the queen's canadian representative, the governor general, william, spoke about his and catherine being in canada, and this in canada, the speech was in english and french. [applause] it will improve as we go on. [laughter] >> they have eight more days in canada. a test for them both and particularly for her. and another sharp introduction to what their future life will involve. >> being billed as or royal wedding of the year, the marriage of prince albert of monaco, state celebrities and
other royalty are descending on the small principality in the south of france for the friday ceremony. and just like the wedding of prince william and kate middleton, it has captured public and media attention around the world. >> the principality prepares. monaco, the two kilometer wide tiny tip of southern france, famous for its glamour, glitz and great wealth. finally gets its long-awaited royal wedding. like a civil marriage of prince albert and charlene whitsock on friday followed by a religious ceremony. up to 3,500 guests will attend to a former swimmer with a south african olympic team who will become princess charlene. the guest list including heads of state and royalty, the wedding dinner needs to be fit for a king. >> this is essentially a vegetarian and seafood menu. and i'll try to keep the individual flavor of each
ingredient. luckily, prince albert and the family opened their private gardens to us to let us plant food and on the wedding morning, we will harvest it. nothing will have to be put in a fridge. we will be cooking from fresh. >> rumors of a last-minute royal rift threatened to leave a sour case to the -- taste to the celebrations but the palace has denied reports that ms. whitsock was getting cold feet. the royal wedding of prince william and kate middleton will be a tough act to follow. but prince albert's long career as a bachelor, many in monaco are just happy to see him finally settling down. >> and you've been watching newsday from the bbc. in singapore. >> in london. a reminder of the main news. the chinese communist party is celebrating its 90th anniversary. more on that to come. you're watching news day on the bbc. that's it from us. stay with us.